Threatening of women activists of the Katunayake Free Trade Zone by the officials of the Government was condemned by Joseph Stalin, the General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Union at a press conference held last week at the CMU Office.
About two weeks ago several social activists including Ms. Chamila Thushari, Ashila Dandeniya and Chandra Devanarayana disclosed about the grievances faced by the contract workers staying around Katunayke FTZ at a press conference held at CSR Colombo. Angered by the media publicity given to this press conference, Shavendra Silva, the Head of National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) scolded these activists’ via media that the facts exposed by them were false and they are misleading the public and try to defame the newly formed Government. Later some unknown individuals have given threatening calls to these activists. Now several Human Rights activists have complained about these threats to the Human Rights Commission also.
Addressing the media Joseph Stalin further stated that the Trade Union Movement should intervene to pressurize the Government to take immediate arrangements to supply foods and other essentials to these workers. According to him there are thousands of workers starving without food and there is nobody to look after their grievances. None of the factories which they have worked, do not look after them since they are casual contract workers. So called man power companies or contractors also evading their responsibilities. Since the spread of Covid 19 is growing the authorities have banned the workers of FTZ to go to their home towns. Infected workers and other workers living in shanty type boarding houses with limited facilities. He further stressed that the Government is taking all steps to strengthen the Govt. oppressive machinery under the cover of Covid 19, neglecting the grievances of workers who lay their blood & sweat to earn dollars to Sri Lanka.